Let gravity do its thing


This round of the sediment management plan won't provide a sustainable solution to the problem (HCN, 5/14/12, "Los Angeles Against the Mountains"). But now is a good time to make the case for long-term solutions. For that, we're going to have to rethink the flood control system, or rather, remember it as a functioning riparian ecosystem, and find some managed middle ground that lets gravity move sediment downstream. We'd regain the benefits of a natural, or at least semi-natural, stream. (A nice place to hang out! Aquifer recharge! Fish! Improved water quality!)

There are channelized reaches of rivers and streams that maintain basic riparian functions already -- Glendale Narrows on the L.A. River, San Jose Creek, Las Virgenes Creek, to name a few -- demonstrating that we can do it technically. But enough people are going to have to understand and see the relevance of these waterways to L.A.'s sustainability for a new paradigm to gain political traction.

Jessica Hall
Redondo Beach, California